Home Hydroponics


Study hydroponics at home, learning by distance education nutrient film technique, aggregate culture and gravel culture of vegetables, fruit, cut flowers and indoor plants, with hydroponic gardening techniques..

Course CodeAHT107
Fee CodeS1
Duration (approx)100 hours
QualificationStatement of Attainment


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Learn How to grow Vegetables, Fruit and other plants: at home, in hydroponics.

Develop a solid grounding in the principles of soil less cultivation of plants. When you remove the soil from a plant and take control of its roots, it is essential that you have a good understanding of how it grows. Any body can grow plants in soil with reasonable success.

To grow plants in hydroponics you must understand how the plant grows so that you can control the temperature, water, oxygen, nutrients etc. in the root zone.

Lesson Structure

There are 10 lessons in this course:

  1. Introduction to Hydroponics & Plant Growth
    • Scope and Nature of Hydroponics and terminology (Water Culture, Sand and Gravel Culture, Rockwool, Vermiculaponics, Hydroculture, etc)
    • How it Works
    • A Simple Manual System to Create
    • History of Hydroponics
    • Understanding How Plants Grow
    • Understanding the Water Requirements and Management
    • Photosynthesis
  2. Basic Chemistry, Nutrition & Nutrient Solutions
    • Significance of understanding chemistry for hydroponics
    • Understanding Basic Chemistry
    • Atoms and Compounds
    • The important Plant Nutrients
    • Writing Chemical Names
    • What concentrations of different nutrients does a plant need?
    • Nutrient solutions
    • Preparing Nutrient Solutions
    • Mechanisms of Nutrient Uptake
  3. More on Nutrient Solutions
    • Understanding differences between Soil Culture and Soil less Culture
    • The nitrogen Cycle
    • Mycorrhyzae
    • Summary of fertilizers used in Hydroponic Nutrients
    • Calculating Chemical Formulae
    • Hydroponic Nutrition
  4. Media and Types of Systems
    • Classification of Hydroponic Systems
    • What Makes up a System; system variables; Solution Dispensation, Closed or open, Drip, slop, capillary feed, wicks, misting, dry fertilizing etc, Automatic or Manual Operation, Type of Medium, Construction Materials, Rate & Frequency of Irrigation & Feeding, Air Injection (In water culture), Plant Support, Environment controls.
    • Choosing a System
    • Types of Media
    • Rockwool
    • Vermiculite
    • Sand
    • Leca, (Expanded Clay)
    • The Bentley System
  5. Designing a System
    • Nutrient Film Technique
    • Alternative NFT Layouts
    • Solution Dispensation Options (closed or open system, drip, slop, flood, capillary, dry, mist, etc)
    • 16 Other System Options
  6. Problems in Hydroponics
    • Pest and Disease
    • Nutrition
    • Environmental
    • Diagnosis of Nutritional Problems
    • Controlling Acidity
  7. Plant Culture
    • Flow Charting a Crop
    • Greenhouse Management
    • Controllers (Salinity, pH)
    • Adjusting Solutions using an Electro Conductivity Meter
  8. Solid Media vs Water Culture
    • Indoor Plants
    • Berries
    • Gravel Culture compared with NFT
  9. Growing Vegetables in Hydroponics
    • Fresh Cut Herbs in Hydroponics
    • Lettuce
    • Tomatoes
    • Cucumber
    • Review of all other common vegetables that are suited to hydroponics
  10. Growing Cut Flowers in Hydroponics
    • Overview
    • Roses
    • Chrysanthemums
    • Carnations
    • Review of many other common flowers that are suited to hydroponics

Each lesson culminates in an assignment which is submitted to the school, marked by the school's tutors and returned to you with any relevant suggestions, comments, and if necessary, extra reading.

Aims

  • Describe the nature and scope of hydroponic growing in a hobby situation.
  • Explain basic plant nutrition chemistry in order to describe the composition and function of hydroponic nutrients.
  • Differentiate between a variety of fertilisers and hydroponic nutrients, and suggest how these might be used appropriately in the growing of different types of plants in a hydroponic garden.
  • Compare options for media and systems, in order to choose what is appropriate to a specific home situation.
  • Design a hydroponic system suited to a particular home situation
  • Diagnose common ailments in a hydroponic system, make a determine appropriate action.
  • Describe the course of a hydroponic crop in a home situation from initial planting to harvest, and treatment of the harvested crop.
  • Differentiate between solid media and nutrient film hydroponic techniques, and the way in which plants may be treated differently in each.
  • Plan the production of a sequence of vegetable and herb produce for household use from hydroponic production.
  • Determine appropriate methods for hydroponic cut flower production in a home situation.

WHAT IS HYDROPONICS?

Hydroponics can simply be said to be the process used to grow plants without soil. It literally means ‘working water’. The grower is taking ‘control’ of the plant's root environment, and losing the benefit of 'mother nature's' finely-tuned mechanisms which normally control that part of the plant's environment. A hydroponic grower provides the optimal levels of food and water that plants need for growth in the form of nutrient solutions. They can also control the environment in a variety of ways to influence plant growth, such as by providing artificial light, humidity, or by manipulating temperatures.

Hydroponics is not necessarily an easier way to grow plants! It is a more controlled way of growing plants!

The problem with soil-grown plants though is that often nutrients, water, air and other conditions are not present at optimal levels for plant growth. Hydroponics allows the grower to successfully manipulate plant growth by taking control of the functions which are usually handled by the soil. Instead of using soil, hydroponics uses an inert growing medium, such as clay pellets or coir, which supports the plants and their roots. Water and nutrients are then provided to this medium in the form of nutrient solutions which are absorbed by plant roots.


What is in a Hydroponic System?
There are many different types of hydroponics system, but they are all commonly made up of some (or all) of the following components:

  • Reservoir or water tank - this is the water and nutrient supply

  • Water pump - to pump water around the system (including a timer)

  • Air pump or bubbler - to keep water aerated (oxygenated)

  • Grow beds - area where the plants will be grown

  • Growing media - gravel, clay pellets, coir, etc.

  • Hardware components - other parts include pipes, taps, channels, plant pots, etc.

  • Water heaters - or coolers -depending on climate.


Why Use Hydroponics at Home
Some people simply love the technology, others like the potential to grow more plants for longer periods of the year, and in smaller spaces.
For people with limited mobility (eg. disabled or elderly); hydroponics can allow them to grow without digging or heavy work that might be associated with other forms of gardening.






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E-BOOK RELEASE on HYDROPONICS by our Principal

Respected Australian horticulturist and author of more than 100 horticulture books, John Mason, is calling on the horticulture, landscaping, gardening and nursery industries to embrace the new E-books revolution.

As a recently-appointed Fellow of the Australian Institute of Horticulture and long-time Fellow of the UK's Institute of Horticulture, Mr Mason is well aware of the necessity for industry members to have reliable, up-to-date research and information at their fingertips to stay one step ahead.

So Mr Mason has begun releasing new editions of a selection of his most popular and best-selling books as E-book versions, all completely revised and updated and all readily accessible in a PDF format for Mac and Windows, iPad, Kindle and similar readers.

Each E-book is being released through a new online E-book store affiliated with Mr Mason's long-running ACS Distance Education school, which was established 31 years ago as the Australian Correspondence Schools and has grown to an online learning institution offering more than 400 courses to thousands of students enrolled from around the globe.

The new E-books are available at the new online ACS E-bookshop is at http://www.acsebook.com/ which is linked in with ACS Distance Education's UK office, or via the ACS online bookshop at www.acsbookshop.com .   

The first of four new E-books just released is the third edition of Commercial Hydroponics by John Mason, featuring 146 pages of invaluable information, advice, full colour photographs and a bonus directory of suppliers, priced at $AU29.95.

Commercial Hydroponics is packed with information on how to grow different types of vegetables, fruit, cut flowers, herbs and other plants, and brand new chapters on growing an additional 16 new plants including okra, water chestnuts, cherries, citrus gypsophila and lisianthus.

“In this new edition, emphasis is placed on plants that are commercially viable and the variety of ways to manage and improve crop profitability, ensuring this E-book well worth a look for those serious about their future in hydroponics,” says Mr Mason.

“Plus for anyone unsure of the quality and convenience of using an E-book, we have arranged for a free sample download to be available so everyone can see the fantastic quality of the product and experience just how easy it really is to use,” said Mr Mason.

Other E-books newly available at the ACS Online Bookstore include Growing Trees and Shrubs for Small Gardens ($AU19.95) by John Mason, Trees and Shrubs for Warm Places (AU$34.95) by John Mason, and Profitable Farming ($AU19.95) by John Mason, with many more new titles becoming available soon.

A renowned educator, Mr Mason is also a member the International Herb Association, International Society for Horticultural Science, International Plant Propagators Society, Australian Nursery Industry Association, Horticulture Media Association (Australia and UK), Australasian Plant Pathology Society, Royal Horticultural Society, is a Foundation Member and Fellow of Parks and Leisure Australia and holds a 23-year membership with the Australian Society of Authors Limited.

 

See Principal John Mason's article: "The Future of Horticulture in Australia" in the magazine Practical Hydroponics & Greenhouses. Subscribe by calling the "Subscription Hotline": 02 9905 9933.

"Hydroponics has advantages that many people are simply unaware of. It can be easier to manage and more intensive than other gardening techniques. I've seen people grow a tremendous amount of produce on even a small patio or balcony" John Mason Dip Hort Sc. FIOH, Garden Author and Horticulturist for over 40 years 



Credentials

ACS is an Organisational Member of the British Institute for Learning and Development
ACS is an Organisational Member of the British Institute for Learning and Development

Member of Study Gold Coast, Education Network
Member of Study Gold Coast, Education Network

ACS Global Partner - Affiliated with colleges in seven countries around the world.
ACS Global Partner - Affiliated with colleges in seven countries around the world.

ACS is recognised by the International Accreditation and Recognition Council
ACS is recognised by the International Accreditation and Recognition Council



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Dr. Lynette Morgan

Broad expertise in horticulture and crop production. She travels widely as a partner in Suntec Horticultural Consultants, and has clients in central America, the USA, Caribbean, South East Asia, the Middle East, Australia and New Zealand.
John Mason

Parks Manager, Nurseryman, Landscape Designer, Garden Writer and Consultant. Over 40 years experience; working in Victoria, Queensland and the UK. He is one of the most widely published garden writers in the world; author of more than 70 books and edito
Robert James

B.App. Sc. (Horticulture), Dip.Ag., M.Sc., Grad Dip.Mgt. Over 50 years experience that includes, Nursery Manager Brisbane City Councoil, Grounds Manager (University of Qld), Lecturer Qld Agricultural College, Propagator/Nurseryman at Aspley Nursery, Hort
Commercial Hydroponics
Learn how to grow vegetables, fruit, cut flowers, herbs and other plants hydroponically. This classic is now re-published with new images, a new layout and revised text. A must have resource for anyone who wants to grow hydroponically.
Orchids
A colourful guide for students, home gardeners and orchid enthusiasts. The first part deals with growing orchids, and the second covers dozens of orchid genera, and hundreds of cultivars. Explore orchids as cut flowers, container plants, indoor plants and
Plant Pests & Diseases
Are you one of those people that kill every plant you touch? Perhaps it's not you. Perhaps it's a pest or disease. A little bit of reading might just turn your garden into an oasis. Learn how to identify pests and diseases and bring the spring back into y
Roses
There are few things as uplifting as being greeted by the sweet fragrance of roses from your own garden. If you have always wanted to grow roses, or perhaps improve an established rose garden, make sure you are armed with the right knowledge! Learn from t